By JAVIER MANJARRES
The Florida Democratic Party has been all but called out as liars by Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact.
The Democrats took too big a leap by blatantly linking Scott with a report about Florida being No. 1 for federal corruption convictions. The report specifically stated it was looking at the decade before Scott took office. The juxtaposition in the video is misleading, leaving viewers with the wrong impression.
We rate this claim False.-Politifact
Democrats are desperate to frame Scott as a do-nothing Governor, where in actuality, Scott has done more good for the state of Florida than did their presumptive gubernatorial candidate, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Look, the Democrats are at odds with each other, and are struggling to keep it all together.
Here are some excerpts of what Politifact wrote-
At issue is a study released by Integrity Florida, a nonprofit watchdog group, in June 2012.
From 2000 to 2010, the study found Florida led all states in total convictions of officials and staff who broke federal public corruption laws. Florida had 781 convictions, followed by more populous states California, Texas and New York.
During that time, for example, four Palm Beach County commissioners and two West Palm Beach commissioners pled guilty to corruption charges over several years, leading to it being derided as “Corruption County.”
Without getting into more of the nitty gritty of the report, we’ll note it included a disclaimer key to our fact-check on page 2: “The public corruption conviction data included in this report is from a time period prior to Gov. Rick Scott taking office.”
Integrity Florida included the line to discourage people from doing essentially what the Democrats did: misconstruing a correlation between the decade of corruption cases and Scott, who had been in office a year and a half when the report was released.
“We were concerned about that kind of interpretation,” Integrity Florida executive director Dan Krassner told us.
The Florida Democratic Party stands by its video. Spokesman Joshua Karp directed us to astory by the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald about Scott promising ethics reform with anexecutive order on his first day in office but not following through. Scott had pledged his administration would develop a plan for implementing “all or certain” recommendations by agrand jury convened by former Gov. Charlie Crist.
“We feel that we have a strong case here given that the text of the ad is 100 percent true,” Karp said, “and the fact is that Scott has not addressed the problems addressed in the report.”
But the video does not get into that degree of detail. It also fails to mention that Scott did sign two ethics measures into law this year.
The laws give the state Commission on Ethics more power to investigate complaints referred to it, requires constitutional officers to go through four hours of ethics training and bans former legislators from lobbying state agencies for two years after leaving office, among other things.
One more note: Florida is not universally considered the most corrupt state.
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